The threat of a common enemy, the COVID-19, has led everyone to join forces to fight against it. But unfortunately, in these situations of weakness, there are always those who take advantage to attack.

Amidst this healthcare crisis, some countries have already witnessed cyberincidents and cyber-breaches[1][2]. In particular, Spain reported intents of a breach some days ago[1:1], resulting in mobilization of personnel. One typical example is Wannacry[3] that captured miriads of PCs in NHS.

With robots, the panorama is of great vulnerability, according to our research[4][5]. Most robots out there, including most used in healthcare activities, are not designed with security in mind, and it is often a bottom priority for vendors. Some inherently insecure robots, such as Universal Robots[5:1] are being currently widely used in some of our hospitals. Yet, it is trivial for attackers to gain control over those medical robots, that for example, help logistics in pharmacy and drug dispensing in hospitals.

Facing this risk situation, in Alias Robotics we are relieved to think that we can offer protection to those robots that now are taking care of us. We see, that some of our solutions like RIS, can now play an important role.

RIS, the Robot Immune System, ready to help against COVID-19.

Inspired by the human immune system, and developed according to latest research in robotics, security and immunology, the Robot Immune System (RIS) is a modular Robot Endpoint Protection Platform (REPP). An integrated suite of endpoint protection technologies for robots —including a next-gen antivirus, hardening for known robot flaws, data encryption, intrusion prevention mechanisms, data loss prevention, etc.— that detects, prevents, stops and informs on a variety of threats that affect the robotic system. RIS is based of 5 modules:

  1. Firewall. Modeled after the first barriers against pathogens, such as human skin, with an intelligent behaviour.
  2. Hardening. Inspired by the innate immune system, provides generic and defense for robots against a wide array of known attacks
  3. Secure logging, so as the immunological memory.
  4. AIS, AI-based anomaly detection, modeled after the learning framework of our adaptive immune system. Once learned about a pattern, the robot remembers normal operation.
  5. User Interface. Empowers the robot user to have full-visibility of the security status of the robot.

Here is an example of RIS protecting robots from any intrusion.

Healthcare robots secured with RIS will be less subject to cyber-attacks: e.g. ransomware[5:2], in this sanitary crisis, ensuring total availability of robotic devices in hospitals that is absolutely critical in the present situation.

RIS is a fully software solution that integrates with healthcare target robots. Maximum scalability to the models required. Alias Robotics is currently discussing with EU what are target robots to be protected to further adapt solution and deploy it on a EU scale.

We are more ready and happy to help!

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  4. Kirschgens, L. A., Ugarte, I. Z., Uriarte, E. G., Rosas, A. M., & Vilches, V. M. (2018). Robot hazards: from safety to security. arXiv preprint arXiv:1806.06681. ↩︎

  5. Mayoral-Vilches, V., Juan, L. U. S., Carbajo, U. A., Campo, R., de Cámara, X. S., Urzelai, O., ... & Gil-Uriarte, E. (2019). Industrial robot ransomware: Akerbeltz. arXiv preprint arXiv:1912.07714. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎